Today marks one full month since I gave up sweets.
I found this entry in my food journal today and felt pretty damn proud of myself:
And I have stopped saying, "I gave up sweets" because it just sounds so martyr'ish and deprived.
Instead, I now look at it as being emancipated from sugar. Being freed from the shackles of sugar is liberating, powerful and extremely rewarding. Who knew it could feel this way? And except for the 3 day headache I had 5 days into this gig, I'm feeling pretty damn good and my mental fog has lifted, tremendously. Yay! Extra brain power is always a good thing.
Today I will share some tips that have helped me to get through the last 30 days. This is, by no means, any type of medical advice, just what has worked for me:
1. I plan my snacks to heed off cravings. Some of my favorites include: hard boiled eggs, fruit, nuts, apple slices or banana with all natural peanut butter (no sugar added!), and these yummy homemade breakfast oatmeal muffins which do not contain any flour or sugar. I actually use less than half of the amount of honey suggested and they taste great. Eating snacks with protein throughout the day definitely helps to maintain my blood sugar so I don't have highs and lows I would normally have if I was hitting the candy dish at work.
2. Before my morning coffee, I start the day with a big glass of water with squeezed lemon. Here's why. So many reasons!!
3. Speaking of water, I drink it all day long. I keep a large refilled cup with me everywhere I go. It keeps me hydrated and feeling fuller. I've learned not to mistake thirst for hunger.
4. I do not use any artificial sweeteners of any kind. I never have and never will and I am actually shocked that they are still on the market, considering how harmful they are. They also do not really stave off any cravings and can make them worse.
5. Exercise, exercise, exercise. It gives me something else to do (besides baking cookies) and is a great stress reliever and mood elevator. I have also returned to yoga and that has brought me the biggest joy of all.
6. I incorporate extra veggies in my diet wherever possible. They have tons of nutrients, fiber, and water and help to fill you up. Example. I made homemade burgers the other night and mixed in 2-3 diced portobello mushrooms, 1/4 chopped onion and a half of a shredded and squeezed dry zucchini. with some of my favorite spices and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. All of these veggies literally disappeared into the meat and helped me to get an extra 2 burgers out of the meal. A win win! (the kids had no clue either). I also cut up tons of raw veggies on a Sunday and keep them in a container for the week and grab for a quick snack.
7. I do not drink any alcohol. At all. For some, this will not work. For me, I simply cannot handle any alcohol due to the estrogen blocking, 10 year drug I am on. Alcohol does not agree with me. It's more sugar and calories I don't have to worry about.
Because I have eliminated sweets, my life does not seem to revolve around hunger and food anymore like it used to. Now, I just eat for sustenance and it's sort of odd, coming from an Italian family where everything always revolved around food and treats. I also find myself taking on more projects around the house and have an intense need to clean out every one's closets and drawers.
My point is, life is still joyful, if not more. I don't feel deprived, ever. And the thought of eating candy is actually revolting to me. Life is sweet enough and I'm sure I can find another closet to clean!